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A good lesbian romance is always welcome, but a romance with wit and humor is a most welcome gift to brighten up “those” days, and in fact every day.
Jae’s newest novel is set in Portland, Oregon, and focuses on Austen (as in Jane Austen) and Dee. Austen is a nice and well-liked person. She starts her new job at the international games company Kudos with a new assignment: Decorate the company’s Christmas tree. “No problem,” she thinks, until she bears witness to the star-shaped tree topper hitting an unsuspecting co-worker, Dee. Nice person that she is, Austen makes sure Dee is taken care of in the ER and then drives her home. Dee is instantly star-struck by Austen—an impossible occurrence since she is a workaholic and married only to her job. What’s more, Austen has not yet realized that Dee is the much disliked office villain, Attila the Hun, a close relative of Cruella de Vil as corporate gossip would have it. As it turns out, Dee is far from being simply a co-worker. She is far up the corporate ladder, practically Austen’s boss, and her work ethics are under the microscope of her success-driven family and several not-so-well-meaning employees.
Jae shows in Under a Falling Star again that she is an accomplished writer who gives the reader engaging characters and has a knack for developing and pacing an appealing story line. As in her recent novel, Departure From the Script, she shows a playful, witty side of her writing in Under A Falling Star. The book is filled to the brim with banter, levity, and love. Jae knows how to use and play with the conventions of the genre. A perfect example is the requisite wedding at the very end.
But Jae would not be Jae without slipping another, more serious layer into the love story. Adroitly, she weaves into the romance a spot-on portrait of the corporate world and the double standards women are encountering in a male-dominated work environment. It speaks highly of Jae’s skills that this important undercurrent does not detract from the overall lightness of the story and is even essential to understanding Dee, and her family and work dynamics.
Jae’s writings comprise a whole gamut of genres and styles: Historical novels set in the Old West, gritty explorations of the world of cops and crime victims, sweet love in the vineyards, building a new, fascinating universe of shape-shifters, and now with Under A Falling Star another lighthearted romance with substance. As always, the story is skillfully written and well-edited.
This is one groovy romance with a lot of wit and humor.
Under a Falling Star
Paperback, 9783955332396, 394 pp.